Commentary: Concerned about negative political ads
This commentary was submitted to the Echo Press Opinion page. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
By Gene Rossum, Starbuck, MN
Well, the election is over, and we don’t have to listen to the political ads for a few months.
Next we celebrated Veterans Day. It is the day that our country recognizes and honors all who have served in the various military branches of the United States. There are many others who have served our country in other ways, and we need to recognize them also. However, the ones who serve in the military typically need to sacrifice more than those who serve in a civilian capacity. They need to leave their homes, and often their families behind for long periods of time.
When my son enlisted in the Navy, I told him how I had looked at serving when I joined the Air Force in 1965. I knew I would become homesick and miss my family very much. But I looked at it as an adventure, in that I would be going places and seeing things that I would never see if I were not in the military. Besides Texas and California, I was fortunate to visit Hawaii, the Philippines, Alaska, and Bangkok Thailand while in the Air Force. My son was lucky to see places like Malta, Corfu, Venice, Florence, and other places in the Mediterranean, as well as several islands in the Caribbean. My daughter also served for 14 years in a couple of reserve roles and was fortunate to visit Paris and Panama, as well as several places in our own country. These were memorable experiences for all of us.
After going through the recent election and watching all the negative political ads, I am concerned. There were very few ads that touted what the candidate could do or would do if elected. Most of the ads were attack ads against the other person. Social media misinformation has crept into the political arena in recent years, and it is very hard to separate truth from friction.
What bothers me even more is the partisan politics that is happening today. For most politicians, the representation of the citizens has taken a back seat to the representation of their party. None of them seem to want to work with the other side. We are a divided country because of their dedication to their political party instead of serving the citizens of the United States.
My son, my daughter and I, are very proud to have served, as did my father, and my father-in-law. I am very happy that our citizens honor veterans both on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. My concern is that we become so partisan, divided, and vindictive that our democracy sinks into the sunrise and that all who have served and are serving will have done so for only temporary freedoms. It is time for politicians to listen to the common people and slip the yoke of big business and party pressure to comply. A two-party system is fine, as long as one party does not get too powerful. If that happens, that is the first step toward a dictatorship.
I would ask everyone to ask their political representatives to work across party lines and listen to the common person. God Bless America.